"So I thought, can I create a cafe atmosphere dedicated to craft beer, not coffee?" he said.
That question gave rise to Beermiscuous, a "beer cafe" opening June 28 in Lincoln Park at 2812 N. Lincoln Ave.
Offering beer on draft, in bottles and to-go, Beermiscuous is part bar, part liquor store and part cafe (yes, there's free Wi-Fi).
"The experience is really self-directed. We’re there to help answer questions, but it's kind of like a Starbucks," Leamon said. "You reach into the cooler and grab [a beer] or order it on draft, and there's one checkout counter like a coffee shop. If you’re going to stay in the cafe, we’ll pour it for you."
Leamon said service at the cafe will be a step above crowded bars, with servers who all have at least passed the Certified Beer Server level of the Cicerone exam. He also promises that the beer will be refrigerated from the moment it arrives, will remain light protected and will be served in proper glassware and at an appropriate temperature.
Beermiscuous plans to stock approximately 300 bottles and cans of beer with about a dozen on draft. About half of those will hail from the Chicago area. The shop's name refers to craft beer drinkers' desire to try new brews and explore a range of styles.
Beer collectors will want to keep an eye out for the Loose Affiliation rewards program, which earns you points for each dollar spent at the store. Those points will then be redeemable for access to rare and limited releases.
"One of my frustrations has been that it’s luck of the draw as far as access to rare beers goes," Leamon said. "If you’re one of our die-hard customers, we want to reward you."
The shop is scheduled to open Saturday, June 28 at noon.